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Garden people: Help me decide what to plant (spring thread)! / What will you plant this year? 🌻🥬

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I see daffodils!

That means I can start seeds for some things and think about others.

I probably need to proof seeds too.

currently thinking toward greens of various sorts especially lettuces and peas which tend to like early plantings

 

I am in PNW. 

 

And where are you and what will you plant when spring comes?

Or what have you already planted?

Edited by Pen
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Oh, I have been trolling Youtube just dying to start my spring planning and planting.  I'm doing a lot of renovating and movement of plants.  I'm in zone 7

Previous owner put things where they do not thrive so I'm trying to fix that.   I have hydrangea's that are taking over my sidewalk and in the shade and azaleas right next to the house (they don't like alkaline cinder blocks).  And 3 Alberta spruce are in deep shade 🙄

One spot will need some deep shade-loving shrubs that I have been looking into: Mahonias and vibernum - but I worry the vibernam may get too big. 

I've also hired landscapers to put in a few trees in the backyard and a row of privacy bushes (schip laurels) in the front.  They will also install the first phase of our pondless waterfall (whoot!!). 

I try to do things that are deer resistant and low maintenance.  I would love a flower garden but I don't want to spend all that money feeding the wildlife.  

Edited by PrincessMommy
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My 11 yo dd and I are novice gardeners 🙂 we have a variety of perennials out front and we have experimented with various vegetables the last couple years. We will do peppers for sure. They do so well and are satisfying to grow. Last year we tried lettuce and loved that. We will do a big box of lettuce greens this year. We loved going outside and cutting our lunch salads. We also tried popcorn last year and that was fun. We were just talking today and the lettuce and popcorn were the big treats last year that we are looking forward to doing again. We discussed growing enough popcorn to give away to a few people in pretty jars as gifts. 

I also planted some berry bushes last year so maybe we’ll start to see something on those. 

We are starting to get excited.

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We are in TN and have a big garden.  I freeze a lot - I haven't bought tomato sauce, peas, green beans, etc, in years.  We grow corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, purple hull peas, lima beans, okra, and green beans every year.  Some years some crops don't do particularly well, but usually we get plenty of most things.  We eat fresh stuff July-Sept or Oct and are also freezing as we go.  At one point I joking asked my family what meat they'd like to go with their squash and green beans (or, at different times cucumbers) -  I look for different ways to fix them, but we eat tons of them when we're picking.  I did lettuce one year and it did well, and then the next year it got hot too quickly.  Sometimes we grow sweet potatoes, too.  

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I've been thinking about doing lettuce inside in pots instead of outside.  Every year I say that but I still haven't gotten around to doing it.  😁

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My garden has been utterly neglected for several years, but with ds in school, I am prioritizing it again.

1. Herbs! My sage and rosemary have survived the winter. When it gets warmer I will plant: Italian parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, and chives. Mint in a pot.

2. Veggies! We get a CSA box, so not too much here. Early: peas and lettuce, rainbow chard. Later: Bell peppers, tomatoes, pickling cukes, banana peppers. Anything fun that the kids choose - usually multi colored carrots. 

Flowers: tbd

eta: Middle TN, zone 7a

Edited by ScoutTN
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I am already doing kale, chard, arugula, mustard. I will replant more of those for spring. I have a lot of bare root strawberries to put in. Also adding beets, peas, carrots, radishes for spring.

summer: starting peppers, squash and tomatoes from seeds this month. All my herbs survived the winter. I need to clean up weeds to see how much is left.

I am slowly adding  perennial vegetables to my garden : I have some and will add more this year.

eta: zone 9b California. Perennial vegetables that survived my winter here are: tree collards, New Zealand spinach, 2 kinds of Asian spinach, multiplier onions, artichoke. My rhubarb seems to have died, need to see if it will come back. 

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We live in zone 7b. It's been a mild winter for us and the day time temps have been in the 60s for the last couple of days.

 

Two weeks ago, we started under grow lights:

12 each of 4 different kinds of bell peppers (Yolo, Big Red, Cal Wonder, & Autumn Bell) (I'm allergic to tomatoes so red sweet bell peppers are what I use as a substitute for tomatoes in recipes most often)

6 cells of Frosted Flames snapdragons

Peppermint, Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Cilantro and Marjoram to start an herb garden

Lavender, I thought it got too much water from an overzealous little helper and didn't make it but I just saw some little sprouts today so maybe it will make it.

Tried Garlic chives again this year but they didn't come up, again

Bunching onions

two varieties of Shasta daisies for the yard

And I started a strawberry container outdoors from bare roots, the package said it could be started in February in our zone but not sure if it is going to make it, if it does great if it doesn't, we'll try again when it gets a little warmer.

Some mixed microgreens just for fun using a wet paper towel 

some Anaheim peppers to try our hand at raising our own green chiles

 

Just today, ds and I started under the lights:

Dill, because two weeks ago I opened the dill seed pack and it was completely empty. Glad I only paid 50 cents for it lol. I made sure to check the new packs of dill seeds I bought before we left the store lol.

Sunshine petunias, Hurrah petunias and Double Cascade petunias (big pink puffy heart love petunias)

Didn't get around to starting the yarrow today and now I'm too tired, maybe tomorrow.

 

Waiting until closer to last frost to get started under the lights:

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Marigolds (second favorite after petunias lol)

4 o'clocks

Larkspur

Nasturtium

Peas (shelling and snap)

Cucumber (slicing and pickling, trying out Dragon's Egg cucumbers from Baker's Creek too :-D )

Watermelon

Honeydew

Broccoli Raab

Pumpkins

garden beans

Zinnias

Sunflowers

Anything else that strikes my fancy when I look through the seed racks at the store, the ones above are just the seeds I already have lol. 

Oh and carrots but they will be direct seeded outside when it is time. A lot of the cool weather stuff started under the lights will be able to go outside at the same time we put the carrots in in late March.

Oh and I have several varieties of astilbes and a packet of columbines taking a cold nap in the fridge before we plant them lol.

I spent today cutting some more saplings and branches on our property for making trellises on the cheap. Due to my health problems, I can't spend more than 20 minutes at a time or an hour total a day doing it but I'm slowly making progress! Dh found me an electric chain saw that works amazing, (never used one before) that is until I made the chain jump off the bar today, oops. lol So much easier than my loppers on thicker saplings though. Dh said he'd show me how to fix it later :-P

 

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I am in zone 9b to 10a, probably microclimate wise more 9b.

I just picked the first mandarins from our newest tree last week, and wow are they good!

We also benefitted from clearing the root stock off of our very overwhelmed kumquat, and have been rewarded with the best kumquats ever--plump and very sweet.

Also, my employer bouquet this year was a rosemary Christmas tree, complete with little lights, which we took off and then repotted the plant into a bigger pot.  I've been wanting to plant rosemary so I'm glad to have this for free.

I am much more of a tree and shrub gardener than a plants one.  I tend to be a bit allergic and our soil gets very hard in the annual summer droughts so it's hard to work then.

However, we took out our front lawn a couple of years ago, and it gets full, heavy sun all year around. There is a row of dwarf citrus trees across the front of the house, which is the back of this stretch, and nothing else but a Fuyu persimmon tree and a Wonderful pomegranate tree where the lawn was.  We have been burning out the weeds that pop up, but I want to gradually mulch it so that they don't sprout as readily.  So this year I hope to plant a Three Sisters patch there.  My plan is to start seeds of big pumpkins close to where the hose is, and then as they grow, topple, and spread, mulch under them gradually until the whole area is mulched.  This is because rather than pay for mulch I would be able to bring heaps of pine needles back from the mountains each trip.  

The other sisters are beans and corn.  Corn would create a border between the trees and the patch, and would be planted 3-5 plants deep so that wind pollination would be effective.  Beans would come later and trellis up the corn.  I have some heirloom corn seeds on order--variety is Roughwood Fiesta Corn.  Bean seeds are also on order--1500 Year Old Cave Bean, again an heirloom variety.  I also have an African peanutish seed on order, another nitrogen fixing variety like beans, called Red Bambara Nuts that grow underground--I'm going to plant a patch of those beyond where I think the pumpkins will end up.  I don't have the pumpkin seeds yet but I'm heading to a local garden store this week to purchase the latest Big Honking Pumpkin hybrids I can find to get this going.

That doesn't sound like much, but it's kind of a lot for me.  If I get even more ambitious, which is extremely unlikely, I will plant an artichoke bush under the big magnolia tree in the back yard (for shade).  A little row of sunflower seeds in front of the house might be possible as well, but it's unlikely.  #notgoingcrazy

 

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@Carol in Cal. Sounds great!!!

we are in a very different climate here, but at least here artichokes like full sun.  

Pumkpkin or Zucchini can also be used to shelter plants that need more coolness like lettuce or spinach .  

Sometimes you can deal with hard soil by putting some extra soil or compost on top and planting seeds in that.  Some plants have strong enough roots to work themselves into the tough soil below so you don’t need to. Potatoes IME can do this. Also some cover crops can. 

I have tried 3 sisters unsuccessfully, so will be impressed if you succeed in it.  (The corn part was the part I had trouble with.  It was spindly and not up to supporting beans.) 

 

The fruit trees sound wonderful!!! Pomegranate, persimmon and mandarins!!’ Yum!!!

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3 minutes ago, Pen said:

@Carol in Cal. Sounds great!!!

we are in a very different climate here, but at least here artichokes like full sun.  

Pumkpkin or Zucchini can also be used to shelter plants that need more coolness like lettuce or spinach .  

Sometimes you can deal with hard soil by putting some extra soil or compost on top and planting seeds in that.  Some plants have strong enough roots to work themselves into the tough soil below so you don’t need to. Potatoes IME can do this. Also some cover crops can. 

I have tried 3 sisters unsuccessfully, so will be impressed if you succeed in it.  (The corn part was the part I had trouble with.  It was spindly and not up to supporting beans.) 

 

The fruit trees sound wonderful!!! Pomegranate, persimmon and mandarins!!’ Yum!!!

Lettuce is more of a winter crop here.  It's just too hot for it in the summer.  

i know that trick about hard soil, but also, it's just so dry here.  We get maybe one tiny rain storm at most lasting a couple of days from May through September.  So unless we water a lot, the soil dries out and gets very hard.  I'm not a big fan of watering a lot as that brings out the weeds--we mostly just water the fruit trees weekly during the dry period and keep the hose close to the root ball.  

I don't know whether the 3 sisters thing will work, but as I am trying all new to me seeds I hope that at least I get some one interesting thing out of it.  I probably should go ahead and do the sunflowers.  They do great here, and then I'd have SOMETHING.  When I have grown pumpkins in the past I got 0 or 1 pumpkin per vine, which was very annoying, but mindful of that I plan to have at least 5 of them, and if I just get a nice patch of green vines covering the former lawn site I'll be satisfied.

Fruit trees are my secret weapon in the lazy but fruitful gardening effort.  We just have a city lot but I plant them pretty close together and keep them trimmed.  In addition to the mandarin, pomegranate and persimmon, we have a pretty big early fruiting apricot tree that feeds the whole block plus gives me tons to freeze and use in smoothies during the winter, two navel orange trees that give wonderfully sweet fruit, two Meyer lemons, a Bearrs lime, and a three variety peach that has never given us anything but that we cultivated heavily this year and are hopeful about.  I would like to add an avocado, but they get very big.  I'd also like a later fruiting apricot, and I kind of want to try a Gravenstein apple--those are not usually grown here but I think our climate is similar to Sebastopol and maybe they would work.  I have a fruit gap that is annoying--August and September.  Plums would fit nicely there but I don't really like them.  Blackberries would be awesome but they are extremely invasive.  However, I have one of those old concrete laundry tubs out in the back yard, and if I raised it on blocks I think I could grow blackberries in it and trim the tendrils before they planted themselves into the actual ground.  Maybe. 

I try to select fruit that does well here and that holds for a while on the tree so we can have a harvest 'period' instead of a harvest 'day'.  The Bearss lime is the only failure in that regard.  Once the limes are ripe, which is hard to tell from looking at them, they all fall off the tree within about a 3 day period.  So I need to get another lime, probably a green one this time, but those are even harder to tell when they are ripe.  I've thought of taking out the magnolia, which is huge, and letting an avocado or a big acorn bearing oak have that spot, but it's hard to imagine getting rid of the big old roots and without doing that I don't think anything else would really thrive there, so I'll probably keep it.  It gives nice shade but it's not producing anything I can eat!

 

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If sunflowers do great, big sturdy sunflowers might support beans.  

An avocado tree would be wonderful! 

I remember visiting a house where an avocado tree that my mom had started as a seed in a glass had become a huge tree with plentiful fruits.  

Can you grow lemon? Or just limes where you are? 

 

Blackberries are extremely invasive up here in Oregon, but when K lived in southern CA I couldn’t get them to grow well at all— too hot and dry. 

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3 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

We live in zone 7b. It's been a mild winter for us and the day time temps have been in the 60s for the last couple of days.

 

Two weeks ago, we started under grow lights:

12 each of 4 different kinds of bell peppers (Yolo, Big Red, Cal Wonder, & Autumn Bell) (I'm allergic to tomatoes so red sweet bell peppers are what I use as a substitute for tomatoes in recipes most often)

6 cells of Frosted Flames snapdragons

Peppermint, Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Cilantro and Marjoram to start an herb garden

Lavender, I thought it got too much water from an overzealous little helper and didn't make it but I just saw some little sprouts today so maybe it will make it.

Tried Garlic chives again this year but they didn't come up, again

Bunching onions

two varieties of Shasta daisies for the yard

And I started a strawberry container outdoors from bare roots, the package said it could be started in February in our zone but not sure if it is going to make it, if it does great if it doesn't, we'll try again when it gets a little warmer.

Some mixed microgreens just for fun using a wet paper towel 

some Anaheim peppers to try our hand at raising our own green chiles

 

Just today, ds and I started under the lights:

Dill, because two weeks ago I opened the dill seed pack and it was completely empty. Glad I only paid 50 cents for it lol. I made sure to check the new packs of dill seeds I bought before we left the store lol.

Sunshine petunias, Hurrah petunias and Double Cascade petunias (big pink puffy heart love petunias)

Didn't get around to starting the yarrow today and now I'm too tired, maybe tomorrow.

 

Waiting until closer to last frost to get started under the lights:

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Marigolds (second favorite after petunias lol)

4 o'clocks

Larkspur

Nasturtium

Peas (shelling and snap)

Cucumber (slicing and pickling, trying out Dragon's Egg cucumbers from Baker's Creek too 😄 )

Watermelon

Honeydew

Broccoli Raab

Pumpkins

garden beans

Zinnias

Sunflowers

Anything else that strikes my fancy when I look through the seed racks at the store, the ones above are just the seeds I already have lol. 

Oh and carrots but they will be direct seeded outside when it is time. A lot of the cool weather stuff started under the lights will be able to go outside at the same time we put the carrots in in late March.

Oh and I have several varieties of astilbes and a packet of columbines taking a cold nap in the fridge before we plant them lol.

I spent today cutting some more saplings and branches on our property for making trellises on the cheap. Due to my health problems, I can't spend more than 20 minutes at a time or an hour total a day doing it but I'm slowly making progress! Dh found me an electric chain saw that works amazing, (never used one before) that is until I made the chain jump off the bar today, oops. lol So much easier than my loppers on thicker saplings though. Dh said he'd show me how to fix it later 😛

 

 

What you’re doing sounds amazing!!!

 I hope health problems improve!!!

 

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I need houseplant suggestions!

Does anyone grow strawberries? I want to try growing them this year again, we bought the seeds back in December and will plant them next month.  

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@leahtalbot96 This is my first time growing strawberries but we chose to go bare root plants rather than seeds. We are growing them in strawberry crate towers rather than in the ground. Dh and I both have physical disabilities so being able to put the plants up on a stand or table where we can easily tend to them is our primary reason for not putting them in the ground. I know, bare root or from seed, you are suppose to pinch off the first blooms to force root growth, rather than fruit production, the first season. If they are everbearing strawberries, you might get a fall harvest as you can let those blooms go to fruit.

@Pen I don't know about amazing but maybe ambitious lol. It really helps my mental health issues to have something to keep me busy which an ambitious garden does a great job of for me. I also have early onset arthritis and we are looking at connective tissue problems as a possibility as well now. Oh and thyroid issues and multiple allergies lol. None are likely to "get better" but again keeping busy helps.

Does anyone recognize the fern like volunteer in my bunching onions?

IMG_20200218_080840127.thumb.jpg.d62224dd19fa77b248e4d14998a251c1.jpg

It almost looks like a carrot maybe? But I've not even opened the carrot seeds yet lol. Every flat that I've planted the bunching onions in has at least a couple of these wayward seedlings and even in this mixed flat, it doesn't look like any of the other seedlings in the flat. I'm thinking the bunching onion seeds I bought must have had some tag-alongs with them. But what is it?

 

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I still have about 40lbs of butternut squash from last summer, so I think I will forgo those this summer! Dd and I "started" some seeds last week. We'll see how many actually start. It has been at least 10 years since I've been successful with spinach or chard, but I try every year. Sigh. I've been really, really enjoying tomatillo salsa lately, so I think I'll put in some of those.

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Last weekend we put in:
Pear tress-Sekel and Moonglow
Apple trees-Golden Delicious and Gala
Peach trees- Windblow

This weekend we'll put in:
Pecan trees-Lakota and Mandan
blueberry bushes-Legacy, Tifblue, Powder Blue, and Premier

For my ornamental/woodland garden I'll plant the week of Easter:
Ferns-Ostrich, Christmas, Cinnamon (to add to established Korean and Autumn)
Bleeding Hearts
Peonies-bowl of beauty and Itoh
Lilies-Pink Rain, Day, of the Valley,
Astilbes-Chocolate kiss
Liatris
Aquilea
Clematis-City of Leon, H.F. Young
Orchid-Ground bush
(To add to established camellias, begonias, hostas, and anemones)

In my front flower beds I have popping up:
Tulips, Irises, Daffodils, Muscari, Hyacinths, Allium, I just need to add some speedwells in the spot reserved for them as filler and pollinator plants.

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I love gardening. It keeps me sane for at least half of the year. 😄 I'm in the PNW, zone 8a, which seems misleading because while we never get really cold, we don't have much hot weather either. Lots of cool drizzle at either end of summer. 

We haven't started much yet, just some winter sown perennials in milk jugs and a few things under lights. I'm making myself wait to plant warm weather veggies because I have a bad habit of starting them early, then watching them get root bound in April when it's still too cold to plant them outside and I don't have room inside to pot them up. 

Every year I plan on doing a three sisters garden, and every year two sisters do great--beans and squash--and the other sister fizzles out. I almost got mature popcorn last year. This year I will be babying the corn like mad, and fertilizing more than I usually do. I'm trying Dakota Black popcorn. It's supposed to do well in our climate. Squash will be Candy Stick Delicata and Long Island Cheese pumpkin. Beans will be a mix of rattlesnake and probably some runners. Whatever I have in my seed box. I have a ridiculous amount of seeds. I've told dh at least three times this winter that I have all the seeds that I need. Then I go to the feed store or the hardware store and a packet or two mysteriously ends up in my cart. Dh just smiles. It's a cheaper addiction than shoes. 

The only strawberries I've ever grown from seed were the little white alpine strawberries. They do well, don't spread by runners, and have delicious tiny soft strawberries. They are definitely an eat as soon as you pick type. They reseed themselves from dropped strawberries, but are easy to pull up if they become a nuisance. I have a pack of mignonette strawberry seeds that I haven't gotten around to planting yet. I'm not sure I want to spend any time on them. I might just sprinkle them around on a patch of bare ground. lol

I want to have a cutting garden of annuals this year. I love to bring a jar of flowers to people randomly during the summer and I need to have a ready supply. I'm planning for Ageratum, Bells of Ireland, Cerinthe, Zinnia, Cosmos, Sweet Peas, Sunflower, Bachelor's Buttons, Nigella, Celosia, Amaranth, and others I can't remember atm. Snapdragons. And then the perennials that are already established. Daisies, Penstemon, Echinacea, Delphinium, Hollyhhock, Gaillardia, Centaurea, Torch Lily. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, mellifera33 said:

 

Every year I plan on doing a three sisters garden, and every year two sisters do great--beans and squash--and the other sister fizzles out. I almost got mature popcorn last year. This year I will be babying the corn like mad, and fertilizing more than I usually do. I'm trying Dakota Black popcorn. It's supposed to do well in our climate. Squash will be Candy Stick Delicata and Long Island Cheese pumpkin. Beans will be a mix of rattlesnake and probably some runners. Whatever I have in my seed box. I have a ridiculous amount of seeds. I've told dh at least three times this winter that I have all the seeds that I need. Then I go to the feed store or the hardware store and a packet or two mysteriously ends up in my cart. Dh just smiles. It's a cheaper addiction than shoes. 

 

 

 

 

Be careful of planting two different squashes--they will cross pollinate if they are in bee cruising range of each other, and you will get a weird combo rather than either one.  That's why I'm just trying one kind of pumpkin this year.

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14 hours ago, Pen said:

If sunflowers do great, big sturdy sunflowers might support beans.  

An avocado tree would be wonderful! 

I remember visiting a house where an avocado tree that my mom had started as a seed in a glass had become a huge tree with plentiful fruits.  

Can you grow lemon? Or just limes where you are? 

 

Blackberries are extremely invasive up here in Oregon, but when K lived in southern CA I couldn’t get them to grow well at all— too hot and dry. 

Yes, we have two Meyer lemon trees, little ones.

Actually, lemons are hardier than limes and WAY hardier than tangerines.

I would love to try cherries, but the chill hours here have dropped by two thirds in the last 50 years, making them very unreliable.  It's not so much a climate change thing, reportedly, as a microclimate one--much more asphalt and concrete and less dirt/foliage/trees in the area.  It's fairly subtle but enough to make this former cherry growing perfection into an iffy cherry growing location.  Plus cherries don't hold on the tree very well so you really have to go after them hard once they are ripe.

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9 hours ago, leahtalbot96 said:

I need houseplant suggestions!

Does anyone grow strawberries? I want to try growing them this year again, we bought the seeds back in December and will plant them next month.  

 

Pretty much only from propagated starts or thinking’s from someone else’s patch, not seed.

But we have some wild strawberries and I have tried to increase their range by seed spreading.  

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11 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Be careful of planting two different squashes--they will cross pollinate if they are in bee cruising range of each other, and you will get a weird combo rather than either one.  That's why I'm just trying one kind of pumpkin this year.

I never save seed for squash for this reason—my yard isn’t big enough to provide enough separation between varieties. 

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I've started about 30 kinds of seed "outside" and I'm halfway finished.  I discovered winter sowing last year and it was a game changer for me.  It worked so much better than I expected and I had to scramble to build more garden beds in the spring.  This year I'm branching into doing more flowers.  I'm in zone 7a, so my goal is to get all of my seeds going before mid March.  

Winter Sowing is my new favorite thing.  It REALLY helps with SAD to garden in January and February.  I like that I don't have to set up grow lights in the house OR go through the hardening off process.  You basically turn a milk jug into a green house and every milk jug gets a different type of seed.  Here's a tutorial if you're more visual.  You poke drainage holes in a milk jug, add organic potting mix, water well, plant your seeds, seal with duct tape, label the jug, and set it outside.  You've thrown away the lid, so the seeds get rain and snow through the top of the jug.  I probably started 90+ jugs last year and only a handful failed. 

I started as more of a vegetable gardener, but I'm branching into the pretty plants.  Since seeds are so much cheaper than bedding plants, I'm trying a lot more of those.  Here are my gardens:

Veggies - I have about 12 kinds started and more to go. I only get about 5 hours of sun, but I have found tomatoes that work for me and can grow a lot.  I grew scarlet runners for the first time last year.  I never got around to tasting even one bean, but it flowered twice and the hummingbirds loved it.

Shade Fruits - I have a side garden that's shade fruits/ornamentals.  Last year was the first year with it, so I should get actual fruit this year.  It has a quince, two kinds of raspberry, two kinds of currants, a gooseberry and a Lenten rose.  It also has the following plants that I grew from seed: alpine strawberries, foxgloves and anise hyssop.  It has space for lettuces in the plan that I'll add in the spring.  I have blueberries on the sunnier side of my yard and need to add another bush or two once I figure out what goes with the two I have.

Bird, Bee, Butterfly garden - mostly echinacea, coreopsis, and Joe pye weed.  I plan to expand it this year by dividing the established plants.  I also put zinnias here or whatever flower seeds I'm experimenting with that year.

Herb Garden - This is my favorite.  I use this every day.  I used parsley from my garden all winter.  I plan to build an herb extension to a new bed just off the patio and relocate the shade loving herbs there to free up some space in the sunnier herb garden.  Last year I grew borage for the first time and the pollinators LOVE it. That's a keeper.

Wildflower garden - I have a small 5 x 10 space where I want to establish a wildflower garden.  It would be kind of like a tiny meadow, but it's mostly shady so I want to establish some shade-loving wildflowers in this spot.  It only gets a few hours of morning sun.

Front Garden - Here's where I fail.  I've been playing around in the back yard for years and from the front you can't even tell a gardener lives here.  I'll focus on improving it this year.  It has to be a woodland garden because its mostly shady except near sunset.  I plan to experiment with hakone grass this year.  I also want to do a sunset color scheme since I'm really drawn to the peach/salmon/apricot colored flowers.  I'm starting more different kinds of impatien seeds since they grow well there and were easy to start via winter sowing.  Now I'm obsessed with getting kinds I can't get at a box store.  I'd like to establish a small seating area out here and I've decided I need an oak leaf hydrangea.  NEED.

Rockery/Stumpery/Woodland garden- the trouble is I watched The Great British Garden Revival last year and had to have one of everything.  (This is also why I feel I need a water feature AND a topiary.) Right by the house I started a small bed that has some stumps and rocks planted with ferns, astilbes, and bleeding hearts.  It's my only real effort out front and you can't really see it unless you've walked up the driveway and are almost to the door.

Even Weirder - I want to grow a poisonous plant.  I'm going to experiment with castor bean as an annual screening plant this year.  I have no pets or small children so now is my chance.  I'd like an annual screen from one neighbor.  I enjoy chatting with her occasionally, but as summer goes on and we're practically living out there I want a little privacy for the season.  She rarely uses her deck, but maybe she would use it more if that privacy were there.

 

You should get a medal if you read the whole thing!

 

 

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On 2/17/2020 at 6:26 PM, ClemsonDana said:

  Sometimes we grow sweet potatoes, too.  

Do you start your own slips?  What time of year do you start this? 

On 2/17/2020 at 8:11 PM, sweet2ndchance said:

We live in zone 7b. It's been a mild winter for us and the day time temps have been in the 60s for the last couple of days.

Oh and I have several varieties of astilbes and a packet of columbines taking a cold nap in the fridge before we plant them lol.

I spent today cutting some more saplings and branches on our property for making trellises on the cheap. Due to my health problems, I can't spend more than 20 minutes at a time or an hour total a day doing it but I'm slowly making progress! Dh found me an electric chain saw that works amazing, (never used one before) that is until I made the chain jump off the bar today, oops. lol So much easier than my loppers on thicker saplings though. Dh said he'd show me how to fix it later 😛

 

I'm in zone 7a and it's been a really mild winter.  I kind of love it, but I have flowers coming up and I'm afraid we'll get a late snow.  I have green onions in my garden right now.  I have my seeds that need cold stratification outside in milk jugs now.  I just experimented with astilbes last year, so I'm planting a lot more this year.  They seem to like my shady lot.

My cheap-and-easy trellis is a cattle panel, t-posts, and cable ties.  You're spending about $20 for a 4X8 trellis, but it's super sturdy and goes up in about 5 minutes.

On 2/18/2020 at 5:01 AM, leahtalbot96 said:

I need houseplant suggestions!

Does anyone grow strawberries? I want to try growing them this year again, we bought the seeds back in December and will plant them next month.  

Inside I grow philadendrons, snake plants, and draceanas.  They don't seem to mind my dark, cool house.  I also have an ornamental pepper that looked great most of the winter and I brought my begonia starts, jasmine and fig inside this year.  Had I known it would be so mild . . .

I planted alpine strawberries from seed last year and they looked nice and healthy, but no fruit yet.  Fingers crossed for this year and I'm starting more plants because I'm greedy with the wild strawberries.

On 2/18/2020 at 9:33 AM, SusanC said:

I still have about 40lbs of butternut squash from last summer, so I think I will forgo those this summer! Dd and I "started" some seeds last week. We'll see how many actually start. It has been at least 10 years since I've been successful with spinach or chard, but I try every year. Sigh. I've been really, really enjoying tomatillo salsa lately, so I think I'll put in some of those.

The year I didn't plant butternut squash was my best year growing it.  It volunteered all over the place! 

23 hours ago, mellifera33 said:

I love gardening. It keeps me sane for at least half of the year. 😄 I'm in the PNW, zone 8a, which seems misleading because while we never get really cold, we don't have much hot weather either. Lots of cool drizzle at either end of summer. 

We haven't started much yet, just some winter sown perennials in milk jugs and a few things under lights. I'm making myself wait to plant warm weather veggies because I have a bad habit of starting them early, then watching them get root bound in April when it's still too cold to plant them outside and I don't have room inside to pot them up. 

 

I'm in love with the winter sowing.  Last year I lost my mind and went a bit overboard.  This year I'm 'only' starting about 60 things in jugs.  The only thing I'll bother to start inside is peppers (because they needed more time), and a couple tomatoes and flowers just to see if i can get them a little sooner.

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I find I get enthusiastic in spurts about gardening, but then I never seen to be excited about harvesting. It is so weird, because that's the payoff time, right? I bet it is the amount of cooking implied by all that food that dampens my enthusiasm.

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This will be my first spring in our very own home, and I want to plant EVERYTHING!  However, I am trying to decide what will actually fit in my personal time budget and in the financial budget (especially as dh is about to change jobs, and money will likely be tight for the first few months).  

Dh and I had very different visions for our 8/10ths of an acre.  Dh was picturing mostly lawn with a few garden beds and a few small fruit trees.  I’m seeing permaculture gardening/mini food forest, swales, edible landscaping in the front yard, plus a goat pasture, chickens, play structure . . .  yes, I can get a little carried away.  After some discussion, he is okay with me doing whatever I want, so long as there is some lawn somewhere, the front looks fairly neat, and any areas that are going to have to wait until down the line for my extravagant plans can be planted with grass in the meantime so they aren’t eyesores for the intervening years.  Which is great; I am super excited to have the go-ahead, but it does mean that much of what I had begun to set aside for planting this spring needs to go to boring old grass.  After some searching online for what works best in my climate, I ordered a goat pasture seed mix and a grass seed that will need less water and less mowing and looks a little more medowy than most lawn grass, and a low-growing wildflower seed mix I’m going to add to the grass seed in some spots.

I am going to try pig-tilling.  For close to the same amounts I could get a small front-tine rototiller that would not do a great job at tilling the hard ground, rent a big rear-tine rototiller to get the job done, or get what I need to move a pig around our yard every few days to dig the ground up for me (which materials will come in handy later for the goats).  And when the yard is done, the pig can be bacon.  I pitched this plan to my dh expecting him to balk, and he suggested we name the pig Rototiller.  He has sure come a long way over the years in his acceptance of my hare-brained schemes.

Besides the grass and pasture, I am hoping to at least get in a line of dwarf cherry trees in the strip between our driveway and the property line with some groundcover (strawberries maybe) beneath them.  I would love to also plant asparagus, raspberries, some more fruit trees, hazelnuts, grapes, and hardy kiwi—but it may be too late in the year to start in on these by the time the budget loosens up again.

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:41 PM, Carol in Cal. said:

I try to select fruit that does well here and that holds for a while on the tree so we can have a harvest 'period' instead of a harvest 'day'.  The Bearss lime is the only failure in that regard.  Once the limes are ripe, which is hard to tell from looking at them, they all fall off the tree within about a 3 day period.  So I need to get another lime, probably a green one this time, but those are even harder to tell when they are ripe.  

 

I’m not familiar with Bearss, but the lime trees my family had growing up were easy to tell when they were ripe—when they turn yellow.  But really you can use them most any time.  They’re perfectly useable unripe like grocery store limes, if not quite as pleasant.  This was Mexican/key limes and standard Persian limes  and one other kind, can’t remember what it was.  The Persian limes would be ripe at just-turning yellow to solid yellow, but after that the texture would suffer.  The key limes would turn solid yellow on the tree for a bit, drop off, and still be good after a few days on the ground until the snails got them.

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50 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

This will be my first spring in our very own home, and I want to plant EVERYTHING!  However, I am trying to decide what will actually fit in my personal time budget and in the financial budget (especially as dh is about to change jobs, and money will likely be tight for the first few months).  

Dh and I had very different visions for our 8/10ths of an acre.  Dh was picturing mostly lawn with a few garden beds and a few small fruit trees.  I’m seeing permaculture gardening/mini food forest, swales, edible landscaping in the front yard, plus a goat pasture, chickens, play structure . . .  yes, I can get a little carried away.  After some discussion, he is okay with me doing whatever I want, so long as there is some lawn somewhere, the front looks fairly neat, and any areas that are going to have to wait until down the line for my extravagant plans can be planted with grass in the meantime so they aren’t eyesores for the intervening years.  Which is great; I am super excited to have the go-ahead, but it does mean that much of what I had begun to set aside for planting this spring needs to go to boring old grass.  After some searching online for what works best in my climate, I ordered a goat pasture seed mix and a grass seed that will need less water and less mowing and looks a little more medowy than most lawn grass, and a low-growing wildflower seed mix I’m going to add to the grass seed in some spots.

I am going to try pig-tilling.  For close to the same amounts I could get a small front-tine rototiller that would not do a great job at tilling the hard ground, rent a big rear-tine rototiller to get the job done, or get what I need to move a pig around our yard every few days to dig the ground up for me (which materials will come in handy later for the goats).  And when the yard is done, the pig can be bacon.  I pitched this plan to my dh expecting him to balk, and he suggested we name the pig Rototiller.  He has sure come a long way over the years in his acceptance of my hare-brained schemes.

Besides the grass and pasture, I am hoping to at least get in a line of dwarf cherry trees in the strip between our driveway and the property line with some groundcover (strawberries maybe) beneath them.  I would love to also plant asparagus, raspberries, some more fruit trees, hazelnuts, grapes, and hardy kiwi—but it may be too late in the year to start in on these by the time the budget loosens up again.

 

I hope to hear more about the pig.

Chicken tractor won’t till soil, but will weed, scratch and eat snails, and might be easier animals to start with.  

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1 hour ago, SusanC said:

I find I get enthusiastic in spurts about gardening, but then I never seen to be excited about harvesting. It is so weird, because that's the payoff time, right? I bet it is the amount of cooking implied by all that food that dampens my enthusiasm.

 

Only plant for fresh salads? 

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3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I'm in zone 7a and it's been a really mild winter.  I kind of love it, but I have flowers coming up and I'm afraid we'll get a late snow.  I have green onions in my garden right now.  I have my seeds that need cold stratification outside in milk jugs now.  I just experimented with astilbes last year, so I'm planting a lot more this year.  They seem to like my shady lot.

My cheap-and-easy trellis is a cattle panel, t-posts, and cable ties.  You're spending about $20 for a 4X8 trellis, but it's super sturdy and goes up in about 5 minutes.

They are calling for wintery mix here tonight and tomorrow. I'll probably bring that strawberry crate into my (already crowded) laundry room later today. I'll believe it when I see it lol. They keep calling for ice and snow and the two times this winter that we got a dusting of snow in the morning, they were only calling for rain lol.

We had a retaining wall built 12 feet away from the house in an effort to try and get more usable space in our extremely sloped yard (I think last time we measured it was something like a 15% grade average over the entire front yard). I want to put a shade flower garden bed in front of the wall. It gets a little dappled morning sun because of two huge oak trees and the shade all afternoon because of the retaining wall and the house. I found deep shade hardy astillbes cheap ($3 for like 15 bare roots) and now I'm on the look out for Coral bells and hostas that are shade loving.

I love the look of cattle panel trellises and I will get them some day but right now, the only trellis that fits my budget is free, lol. Last year my trellis was an old beat up swingset A-frame that someone was throwing out and a bunch of garden twine that I picked up at a going out of business sale for 25 cents per 300 yard roll. (I have enough garden twine to wrap the world several times I think lol) It held up my cucumbers beautifully and I probably could have used it again this year, it was still up and taunt until last week when dh and I decided to try and make a make shift shed out of the swing set frame and a tarp for some tools that needed to go outside but not be left in the elements. We have so many projects that are much higher priorities than buying trellises that I could make myself for free with all the trees and branches we have around here that need trimming or clearing anyways. That and I am a cheapskate to the extreme both by personality and circumstance and I can't stand to spend money on something I could make myself lol. It may take me longer than I would like  since I'm not able to stay standing for more than 20 minutes at a time but it will get done, eventually. ;-) 

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2 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

I’m seeing permaculture gardening/mini food forest, swales, edible landscaping in the front yard, plus a goat pasture, chickens, play structure . . .  yes, I can get a little carried away.

This is my dream too :-) I originally wanted a food forest with no lawn (I hate lawns for many reasons)  but I think dh and I are leaning toward espalier fruit trees so that we can tend to and harvest from the trees more easily especially as we get older and/or or medical issues get more difficult to work around over time. I know a lot of people don't consider espalier to be true permaculture or food forest gardening but I think doing something to make ourselves more self reliant is the better route for us than sticking to a strict definition of a certain type of gardening.

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I am so ready to start putting some veggies in!  They are going in the front and this irritates DH because I tend to let stuff "grow wild" instead of making it pretty.  I mean, not like covered in weeds wild (though that has happened in the past) just that....if tomatoes don't end up in cages....I will still get tomatoes lol. 

Anyway, cages will happen this year so it will be ok.

I have two spaces, one on each side of the front door.  The space to the left of the door is about a foot wide and like 3 ft long.  Last year this was my only space and I had toms and peppers and a basil plant in it.  This year, I am planning to make this space all herbs.  Basil, dill, thyme, oregano.  I might do a row of carrots in front of those.  

My other space is about 2.5 feet wide and about 6 feet long.  I need to get some edging for it.  There were originally bushes there but with the property managers blessing, we ripped them all out last fall.  Whoever put them there originally prepared the bed well....google street view shows that in the past, the landscaping was really pretty lol.  Anyway, in that space, I am planning tomatoes, peppers, cukes zucchini, probably lettuce, maybe some eggplant.  I thought about strawberries but since we don't know if we will be here past 2021, I dunno that I want to mess with that.  I might do some parsnips with the carrots.  We really like carrots and parsnips done together.  

I have space for vines for the first time in many years, I might do a single jack o lantern style pumpkin plant for the kids.

 

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I wish I had enough sun for fruit trees.  I read a book called "Grow a Little Fruit Tree" and I've been obsessed ever since.  In my imaginary orchard my trees are trained small enough to care for them without a ladder.  Unless the big tree in the front goes, I just don't have the sun for even a tiny orchard.  I have to be happy with fruits that don't mind a bit of shade.

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I hope we do some major work this spring, but at the moment I just wanted to thank you for starting this thread.  It reminded me that I had to get after my hydrangeas.  

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Well, I have about 100 sq ft of veggie garden space in my backyard. Right now there is garlic, kale and spinach in some state of dormancy before it takes off when the days get longer and warmer. There is volunteer lettuce and cilantro in there, but I don’t have much hope of it maturing before we get some serious winter weather. 
I have one grow light that I am impatiently waiting for lavender to germinate under. It’s week three and I have about six from a packet of 75ish seeds. Boo. I’m also germinating peppers, soon will be adding tomatoes. I want the lavender to hurry up so I can move it to the back porch/sunroom which is too cool for germination. At that point I’ll have the light for the tomatoes and peppers. I’ll need to wait until mid March to start anything else out on the back porch. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:02 AM, KungFuPanda said:

I discovered winter sowing last year and it was a game changer for me.  It worked so much better than I expected and I had to scramble to build more garden beds in the spring.  

Winter Sowing is my new favorite thing.  It REALLY helps with SAD to garden in January and February.  I like that I don't have to set up grow lights in the house OR go through the hardening off process.  You basically turn a milk jug into a green house and every milk jug gets a different type of seed.  Here's a tutorial if you're more visual.  You poke drainage holes in a milk jug, add organic potting mix, water well, plant your seeds, seal with duct tape, label the jug, and set it outside.  You've thrown away the lid, so the seeds get rain and snow through the top of the jug.

@KungFuPanda, Thanks for explaining winter sowing. I have some pepper starts under lights. I am wondering if I should transfer them to jugs outside because I hate the mess indoors. The thing is, our daytime temperature is in the 60’s and 70’s but nighttime still hits 30’s and 40’s. Will this range of temps cook the seedlings inside the jug? Will they withstand spring temperatures inside the jug? 

Edited by mathnerd
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My roses have new growth and my plum tree has a few flowers, so I guess it’s time for me to plant out my spring crops.

I have a very tiny yard. Like, urban tiny. I have perennial herbs, a big planter of Hood strawberries, a few rose bushes, some daisies, and not room for much else. 

I am planting a huge planter of spinach, a pot of cilantro, and I may try to start some perennial flowers from seed. I grew daisies that way two years ago. I am contemplating a trellis for zucchini. I bought zucchini seeds yesterday when I picked up my cilantro and spinach packets.

I am within a short drive huge berry and fruit tree commercial operations. I will u-pick there this summer. 🙂 

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So, here we are Thursday afternoon and not a bit of ice or snow to be seen. It is a fair bit colder than it was a couple of days ago, it has only gotten into the 40s today rather than the 60s, but no where near cold enough to snow or sleet. Just more wishful thinking on the part of the weather forecasters around here lol. The same forecasters that forecasted snow measureable in feet a few days after Halloween. We were still having day time highs in 70s and sometimes 80s, so yeah, you can see why I say I'll believe it when I see it. Never did get my new strawberry planter brought in, mostly because by yesterday evening it still didn't seem likely that we would even get a dusting.

My snapdragons are finally coming up :-D I counted eight sprouts which is 7 more than I got last year lol. I'm thinking about just setting them outside. It almost seems like it is too warm inside for them. That's why I didn't get many last year. By the time I planted them it was too hot and they died before they could get properly started.

Pepper starts are doing fantastic. I have over twenty popped up now. I should be able to get another grow light or two next week so that will help with getting all these started I'm running out of room on my shelves with my one 4' light and 3 goose neck desk lamps that I have clamped on to the shelves. I want to get all 4' lights on there eventually.

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51 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

Meet Rototiller.

6CE62743-34CA-41F3-8165-7FD255AF1F56.jpeg

 

Rototiller looks small.  Is he very young or a miniature pig?   He’s cute, I don’t think I’ve ever met an all black pig.  

at least he isn’t named Bacon!

are you in a truffle hunting area?

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

 

Rototiller looks small.  Is he very young or a miniature pig?   He’s cute, I don’t think I’ve ever met an all black pig.  

at least he isn’t named Bacon!

are you in a truffle hunting area?

He is small.  He is a four-month-old Guinea Hog, and might grow up to 150 to 200 lbs.  They are supposed to be great foragers and rooters, and quite resilient to both cold and heat—and also I found the idea of a 200lb. pig far less intimidating than the other option in my area.  Plus the twelve-year-old entrepreneur selling him was absolutely adorable, and super competent and knowledgeable about his pigs.  (I was tempted to buy two from him, but restrained myself.)

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I have some seeds going inside right now, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up, lol.  I haven’t had a real garden running in at least 6 years now. My old beds are not in any shape for planting, and I’m. Still working on coming up with a plan.

We’re in a 5a/5b area that can be tricky. IT’s a very short season in a microclimate,, and I’ve definitely botched it before.  My standards are cherry tomatoes, peas, bush beans, and cukes. I’m attempting to add greens and squashes this year, but I’m not counting on it going well.

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2 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

We’re in a 5a/5b area

We are hardiness neighbors. 🙋🏻‍♀️

On 2/20/2020 at 1:19 PM, sweet2ndchance said:

I'm running out of room on my shelves with my one 4' light and 3 goose neck desk lamps that I have clamped on to the shelves.

Seed starting is such an optimistic process!

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12 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

He is small.  He is a four-month-old Guinea Hog, and might grow up to 150 to 200 lbs.  They are supposed to be great foragers and rooters, and quite resilient to both cold and heat—and also I found the idea of a 200lb. pig far less intimidating than the other option in my area.  Plus the twelve-year-old entrepreneur selling him was absolutely adorable, and super competent and knowledgeable about his pigs.  (I was tempted to buy two from him, but restrained myself.)

 

This making me want a pig, but I expect it would attract cougar.  

Have to settle for a shovel.

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13 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

He is small.  He is a four-month-old Guinea Hog, and might grow up to 150 to 200 lbs.  They are supposed to be great foragers and rooters, and quite resilient to both cold and heat—and also I found the idea of a 200lb. pig far less intimidating than the other option in my area.  Plus the twelve-year-old entrepreneur selling him was absolutely adorable, and super competent and knowledgeable about his pigs.  (I was tempted to buy two from him, but restrained myself.)

So cute! Is he a pet, than? Will he have free run off your garden plot in the off-season to "when" the soil? When we had chickens I was disappointed to discover that they didn't restrict their foraging to pests, but we're happy to sample the produce also.

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13 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

He is small.  He is a four-month-old Guinea Hog, and might grow up to 150 to 200 lbs.  They are supposed to be great foragers and rooters, and quite resilient to both cold and heat—and also I found the idea of a 200lb. pig far less intimidating than the other option in my area.  Plus the twelve-year-old entrepreneur selling him was absolutely adorable, and super competent and knowledgeable about his pigs.  (I was tempted to buy two from him, but restrained myself.)

He's adorable! Pigs are so intelligent and sensitive and make excellent pets.

There is a wonderful book called The Good, Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery.  She tells the story of rescuing a runt pig who eventually grows to be 750 lbs. and a much-loved member of their family. It's awesome!

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5 hours ago, SusanC said:

So cute! Is he a pet, than? Will he have free run off your garden plot in the off-season to "when" the soil? When we had chickens I was disappointed to discover that they didn't restrict their foraging to pests, but we're happy to sample the produce also.

He’s not meant to be a pet.  The idea is to eat him eventually, after he’s tilled and fertilized the whole yard.  I built a small mobile pen to be moved frequently to fresh ground, to mimic Joel Salatin’s intensive rotational system on a smaller scale. 

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53 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

He’s not meant to be a pet.  The idea is to eat him eventually, after he’s tilled and fertilized the whole yard.  I built a small mobile pen to be moved frequently to fresh ground, to mimic Joel Salatin’s intensive rotational system on a smaller scale. 

Wow! That sounds so holistic. And delicious

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